Podcasts have made a significant resurgence in recent years, having never quite hit their full potential back when they first became “a thing” in the mid-2000's.
This growing popularity, coupled with it being easier than ever to start your own podcast, makes for a great opportunity for membership site owners to really get ahead by incorporating podcasting into the content marketing strategy.
Here are some of the main reasons you should consider using a podcast to promote your membership site:
Establish your authority and build credibility
Many membership websites are based around expertise and authority.
Members will join in order to not only gain access to the teachings of someone they deem to be the “go-to” guy or girl in a particular field, but to rub shoulders with them as part of a membership community.
A podcast is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and build up credibility with your audience; establishing yourself as an expert in your field and making you someone that people want to learn from.
Show your personality and enable people to connect with you
Personality is something which is difficult to portray in writing.
Even the most charismatic people in the world may come across as dullards if they lack the ability to demonstrate their personality through the written word.
A podcast allows people to hear your voice, to hear your tone and get a better sense of your personality and who you are. You become more relatable and make your listeners feel like they're connecting with you far better than if they were simply reading another blog article.
This can go a long way towards building a rapport with your listeners and creating a following who will go on to join your membership site.
Connect with influencers
Building relationship with influencers in either your own market or in related areas can be a great way of expanding your reach and boosting your visibility.
Inviting an influencer to be interviewed on your podcast is a fantastic way to establish those relationships. Podcast interviews come with far less “friction” for the guest than written contributions, so you're far more likely to get a positive response. Particularly if that person frequently appears on others podcasts or even runs one of their own, since they'll be fully equipped to hope onto an interview with minimum preparation or hassle.
Not only do expert/influencer interviews give you great content, you also get the “rub” of being associated with the “big guns”, and they'll also be more likely to share the interview with their own audience too.
Reach a totally new audience
One of the most powerful things about podcasts is that they are content that is delivered to your audience, rather than content that your audience needs to visit your site in order to access.
As podcasts will primarily be accessed through services such as iTunes, there's a far greater chance that they'll be discovered by a whole new audience who otherwise would never have found you.
Subscribers to your podcast will then just have new episodes dropped onto their device – so you don't even have to rely on their bookmarking your site or joining your email list.
Your episode content can then be geared towards driving listeners to your site and your products.
Promote your membership site
The podcast format makes it easier to promote your membership product in a far more natural way.
It can sometimes feel a little awkward trying to jam a promo for your membership onto the end of a blog post; however because your podcast will likely have a far more conversational tone, then mentions of your membership can be a lot more organic.
One of the main ways that people monetize their podcast is with sponsorships – where at 2 or 3 points in their show (depending on the length of the show) there'll be a 30-60 second ad, often the podcast host reading a script, plugging a sponsor product.
When using a podcast to promote your membership; then you can essentially act as your own “sponsor” rather than promoting other companies. Because sponsorships are so common, listeners are more likely to be receptive to a plug for your membership than if they were reading a blog post.
5 Steps for Getting Started with a Podcast
- Decide on your format. Will it be just one host, multiple hosts? Just you giving snippets of advice and tips, or will you have interviews? How often will you publish, will you have any special “features” or segments?
- Figure out the branding. Come up with a name for your podcast and have an image designed. Remember that your podcast image will often display at small sizes in iTunes, so don't pack it with too much text as it'll end up illegible. Also, avoid using cliched images, such as pictures of microphones etc.
- Purchase your equipment. At the very least you'll need a decent mic. We use the Rode Podcaster but there are a number of other good alternatives out there, including the Blue Yeti and the Audio Technica AT20-20
- Get the right software. You'll need software to record your shows, such as Audacity or Garageband; as well as a podcasting hosting service such as Captivate (our favourite) or Libsyn. You may also want to use a service such as Auphonic for cleaning up and optimizing your podcast audio. If you're going to be conducting interviews via Skype, then tools such as Zencastr or eCamm Call Recorder will handle the recording side of things.
- Add to podcasting services. The biggest place you're going to need to publish your podcast to is, of course, iTunes – however it's also worth publishing to services such as Stitcher and Google Play Music too in order to expand your reach; particularly to the non-Apple crowd.
If you're a member of the Membership Academy, then you can take our comprehensive course on Attracting Members with Podcasting, which you can access now through the course library.
If you're not a member of the Academy, then what are you waiting for? Click here to find out more about how to join the Membership Academy
Hopefully this has given you some inspiration and some food for thought over the benefits of adding podcasting to your content marketing strategy for your membership site.
And of course if you haven't already, be sure to check out The Membership Guys Podcast to see how we put our own podcasting strategy into action.
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